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Naturally Sweet Fundraiser for Bob Jones Nature Center to be held Nov. 1

Oct 07, 2014 04:37PM ● Published by Dia

Gallery: Naturally Sweet Fundraiser 2013 [6 Images] Click any image to expand.

The team at Bob Jones Nature Center is excited to announce its annual fundraiser, Naturally Sweet on Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 7 to 10 p.m. This magical evening on the grounds of the Nature Center features live music, a silent auction, and the most wonderful tastings from area restaurants... all under the stars. We are especially excited to announce that Michael Young, the former Texas Rangers’ infielder and his lovely wife, Cristina Barbosa have agreed to be this year’s honorary co-chairs for Naturally Sweet. The Youngs are well known for their advocacy and support of programs that improve children’s health. One of the Nature Center’s top goals is to restore active play and learning in nature leading to healthy children who also gain a better understanding of our natural world.

The monies raised from this year’s event will be used to help build the $100,000 pollinator garden planned for the Nature Center in 2015. This unique garden will serve as one more outdoor learning opportunity for our classes. The garden will be a living interactive classroom where children will be able to learn about the roles of plants, pollinators, and other wildlife in sustainable ecosystems.

The Bob Jones Nature Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in partnership with the City of Southlake. In 2012, the 501(c)3 organization negotiated a contract with the City of Southlake to manage the Nature Center and organize and oversee the classes and activities available to the public.  Debra Edmondson has been the President of the Board of Directors since 2009. Under her direction, the Nature Center’s total annual income has grown from around $30,000 in 2009 to a predicted $300,000 by the end of 2014. The remaining board members include Southlake’s Deputy Mayor Pro tem Brandon Bledsoe, Dr. David Faltys, Carroll ISD superintendent, Al Zito, former Southlake City councilman, Buddy Luce, former Carroll ISD School Board president, Jane Musser, Bruce Rosenstiel, Simon Rurka, Wanda Schafer, Julie Landesberg, Norm Lyons, Randy McCauley, Audra Lewandowski, Jessica Heintz and Ben Siebach. Dr. Ray Chancellor was recently named a director emeritus.

The history of the Nature Center is part of what makes it so special. The City of Southlake's Bob Jones Park and the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve are named after John Dolford "Bob" Jones, the son of Leaser Alvis Jones and his slave, Elizabeth. A slave himself, Bob was a sheepherder on his father's farm east of Roanoke, Texas. After the Civil War, Bob, his brother, and his mother were set free and bought the 60-acre farm. Over time, Bob and his wife, Almeady Chisum, and their ten children expanded the farm until they owned almost 2,000 acres. In the 1990s, the City of Southlake launched an initiative to purchase land for a park. The property acquired included some of Bob and Almeady Jones' original farm, so the City Council decided unanimously to honor his family's memory by naming the park land Bob Jones Park. One of Bob Jones grandsons, Dr. Bobby Jones, was the first individual to be named as a director emeritus of the Bob Jones Nature Center. 

The Nature Center covers over 700 acres of forest, wetlands and prairie in which 300 species of wildlife make their home.  The Center offers a variety of educational programs for nature lovers of all ages.  The Nature Center offers classes, crafts, nature hikes, day camps and many other activities for the local community. BJNC Members enjoy special discounts and members’ only events. For more information, visit the website: www.bjnc.org. You can also find where to purchase tickets for Naturally Sweet at www.bjnc.org/naturallysweet. Save $10 if you pay online before the event. 

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